There isn’t one of us who has knowledge of what our tomorrow will bring—unless of course, God gives us special knowledge. As believers, we are thankful at the end of every day for another day that has passed and we are now one day closer to Jesus’ return for His own. A personal practice of mine is to thank the Lord for each day that has passed and then thank Him for tomorrow—whatever it may bring—because I know He will always be there, no matter what.
A couple verses from an old song written over 70 years ago go like this:
I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the One who feeds the sparrow,
Is the One who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood
By Ira Stanphill (1950)
These words are of course applicable to all of us as believers and followers of Jesus Christ. This however is especially real to missionaries all around the world, especially those who are Christ’s ambassadors in difficult areas, as is the case with the House of Blessing missionaries in the Middle East.
Pastor R gave me a quick call the other day and shared a few details of an episode that had just happened and asked me to share the story with you.
Many of you will recognize the name, Fadwa. She has ministered together with Mufiedah and Sarah now for several years. Both Mufiedah and Sarah have had some traumatic experiences— some of them very difficult to bear. This time, Sister Fadwa was the one who went through the difficulties.
As Fadwa was sharing the Good News of the Gospe amongst the refugeesl, she was taken captive by family members, including her father who is a Muslim sheikh. When they got her alone, she was ordered to stop teaching people about Jesus. They then began to pressure her to deny her faith in Jesus and recommit herself to the teachings of Muhammad and the Qu’ran. When she refused, they isolated her and allowed her nothing to eat for three days. As the summers are very hot in the Middle East, they allowed her just barely enough water to keep her alive. When she still refused to deny her faith in Jesus after the three days, they began to ask her some questions. One of the questions they asked her was what it was that she was saying in her prayers. They heard her praying in a language they did not understand and because they all were now having horrible nightmares, they thought she must be praying some kind of evil curse on them through her infidel faith.
Fadwa then explained that she was praying in a language the Spirit of God gave her, and no, she was not praying a curse on them. She was praying that God’s Spirit would open their eyes to the truth of who Jesus really is. As she explained this to her gathered family, she began to feel a freedom that wasn’t there before and she was able to begin telling them story after story of what she had seen God do through the ministry of HOB since she had become one of their missionaries. She shared how real Jesus was and how spiritually intimate her relationship with Him was.
After spending hours recounting many stories of what she had seen and experienced, her father, the sheikh, asked if she would help him get to know Messiah Jesus the way she did. Fadwa then prayed—not only with her father, but also her mother, five brothers, and many others who were listening in. I don’t know if she also had sisters in the crowd. All in all, it turned out to be a great celebration and a time of great joy! Many names were added to the Lamb’s Book of Life that day!
Fadwa’s father, as a sheikh, has considerable influence and also very good connections. Through these contacts and the money he was able to raise, HOB was able to take delivery of another truckload of wheat sacks. This 40’ trailer load was then distributed to the needy by the many HOB missionary teams. At least 1500 entire families were blessed with wheat and HOB’s special oregano tea mixture to help them deal with a resurgence of flu and new virus strains that is plaguing the refugees. The people were also all blessed with the Good News of Jesus and the power of His Blood to forgive sin. Once again, there were a great many members added to the family of God!
Teams were led by Suleiman and his sons, Omar, Sami, and Mussa, Mufiedah and Sarah, Adel and Muhammad, Ibrahim and Akram, Sahbamber and Mortadah, and a great many others that I do not have names for. The House of Blessing has many hundreds of missionaries scattered across the Mideast.
Many of you will remember that Mussa had received the news that his entire family had been killed in a house that had been hit with a bomb. HOB sent a crew of missionaries with him to go help him recover whatever they could of the bodies so he could properly bury them. Mussa is now back and has rejoined Omar and Sami. He thanks you all for your prayers. The Lord has been merciful to him and helped him through the worst of his grieving. He now intends to continue to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he is able..
The school of ministry is still in full force and all the students are studying hard and memorizing as many Scriptures as they can. HOB continues to provide two meals per day to help them through their 8-10 hours of study each day.
Pastor R mentioned that things are very difficult these days in Idlib and Aleppo and the surrounding area. There are many factors involved that make their survival a real challenge. Of course, the problems extend much further than that. War drums are beating all across the Mideast. Most everyone knows that it is not a question of “if” but “when” a major Mideast war breaks out. Please pray for the protection of God’s people that find themselves right in the middle of it all.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. God continues to do amazing things in these last moments of the Age of Grace.
Forever in His Service,